Clouds and Storms

I had to post a quickie with a picture of some amazing clouds that billowed in as a preview to the amazing storm we had yesterday. All the hot weather and low pressure systems we've had move through in the last week made for some really neat skies. Yesterday, late afternoon, we had a huge storm blow in complete with thunder and beautiful lightning. The grumbling clouds sounded like great mythic titans battling and cursing at each other over our heads. The lightning was often close enough to hear the crackling as it leaped from cloud to cloud. I was dumb enough to not have camera on me, but I don't think it would have helped much since it was mostly grey and monsoony. I don't think my camera would have lasted long in the rain. So I'm including a picture of the day before and the big massing clouds. Enjoy!


Book Review- Knitting

Every so once in a while I like to drop the names of a few books and or authors that I either enjoyed reading or found very helpful. With my current obsession with knitting, I have picked up as many knitting books as I could find and devoured them. I think I scared the other knitting books away since I've kinda hit a slow spot in the reading feed. Here are a few, although definitely not all.

Stitch n' Bitch by Debbie Stoller is an excellent "for beginners" book that covers the first steps to knitting in a fun and easy-going manner. I loved this book for it's fast and fun approach to a craft that tends to feel a little dated. Or used to, in my case. The book brought knitting into a modern sense and also threw in a good base of patterns to knit that aren't difficult and give a lot of opportunity for practice. Debbie has quite a collection developing in the Stitch n' Bitch line of books including Stitch n' Bitch Nation, The Stitch n' Bitch Design Journal, and Son of Stitch n' Bitch which I have listed below.

Son of Stitch n' Bitch also by Debbie Stoller is one that falls into that category that has eluded me. I will find you soon. Until then I have contented myself with reviews on the book and pictures of completed designs from its pages. This is another of Stoller's works that does not fail to impress. I can't wait to sink my fangs into this tender morsel.

Knitting With Balls by Michael Del Vecchio is an instant favorite in my book! This guy has tackled the knitting scene and "masculinized' it. The projects, going far beyond the sweater, hat, and scarf pool we were formerly limited to as guys, have a modern and edgy feel and are varied enough to please any guy looking to fill up his list with knitting projects. I was in heaven when I found this book.

Domiknitrix: Whip Your Knitting Into Shape by Jennifer Stafford is a fantastic read that every girl and adventurous, fierce lad should have in their collection. While the title suggests a female-dominated list of patterns, I found a healthy amount of designs geared at young guys and their insane, dark, and totally cool tastes. This book is a crazy read right from the vinyl cover to the gothic page layouts inside. I personally recommend the mohawk hat! Also checkout the Domiknitrix website for more crazy fun.

The Natural Knitter by Barbara Albright was a book I picked up in an effort to learn more about knitting with natural fibers, no fakes, pesticides, chemicals... or bones about it. It covers a ton of information on organically produced fibers from animal to plant and even tosses in a section on dyeing them naturally if you so choose. She had very helpful comments on which fibers would work best for what and even what their micron size was! If you are contemplating spinning, this book has a chapter to help get you started. Overall, the tone of the book with it's environmentally friendly tips on how to support organic and local producers and it's knitter friendly suggestions and advice made for a relaxing and informative read.

And that concludes my reviews. Also, for any of those guy knitters who stumble across this blog or any of their curious lady-friends, there is a site design specifically for the men and their projects called Men Who Knit. Check it out as well, I think it'll be a neat way to connect with other ballsy knitters!


Harry and The Knitting Engagement

Okay, corny title, I know. But they serve a purpose. A purpose in the master plan brewing in the great mind of Shawn! It's great, but not complicated. I have a Midnight Magic Party to go to this weekend and I'm going as a regular wizarding... wizard. I figure a nice English-looking outfit should fit the bill along with a hand crafted wand that still isn't quite what I want it to be. Yet. To top it all off, I am going to be adding a Gryfindor house scarf (yes, my house! ha ha!) that I knitted! This sucker is gonna take me all the way to the last minute to finish, but only because I'm a sorta perfectionist and I ripped it out four times. First one was to fix the initial size which was actually pretty close to what I have now (dumb, dumb me!), the second, to fix a couple major problems and third and fourth, to change the pattern completely and make it a rib instead of a garter pattern. Looks hordes better! And I got the pattern right now, too. I'll be saving this sucker. I am being chased off the computer though, so I shall adjourn and fix this baby up with links and proper punctuation and grammer!

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